Learning a few quick-key secrets can make you look like a computer expert too, and save you seconds when you need something finished fast. Here are a few tips to help you speed up your computing.
Turn back the clock: Ctrl-Z
We have all done it; deleted the wrong text, changed the wrong formula in a spreadsheet, or formatted text in Word and messed up a whole document layout.
Using the Ctrl-Z quick-key combination will save you time and frustration. This is an excellent time-saver; once you know it, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it. Simply hit the Control key and Z to undo any mistake you make. This is great for when you cut-and-paste the wrong data into a Microsoft Excel file or accidentally delete a paragraph from a Microsoft Word document. Also repeat the key presses to go back a few stages to a previous version of a document.
And just as useful, Control key and Y ‘undoes the undo’, i.e. it puts it back again if you undo one stage too far!
From upper case to lower easily: CTRL-SHIFT-A
One of the more time-consuming things we often have to do is restyle copy from upper case to lower case, or vice-versa, when preparing a presentation or business proposal.
Rather than spend all that time retyping the headline, sentence, paragraph or page, simply highlight the words you want changed and hit your Control key with the Shift button and A – you’ll toggle between upper and lower case copy in an instant.
Minimise everything: Windows key-M
On a busy day you can often have ten or more windows open on your PC. Accessing your desktop in these circumstances can be a lengthy process as you click away each individual window. But you can actually minimise all windows in the blink of an eye by hitting the Windows key and M together.
For when time stands still: Ctrl-Alt-Del
It is unfortunately possible for applications on older model PCs to freeze and force you to wait while your PC troubleshoots. For example, Word can sometimes lock up when opening a corrupted document or one in a new format that an older model PC can’t read. This is doubly frustrating if it happens when you are racing to meet a deadline. (Hint - call CSS to get your PC upgraded if this happens often!)
The Control/Alt/Delete shortcut is helpful in these situations because it takes you straight to Task Manager, where you can immediately shut down and then re-start applications that are experiencing difficulties.
This handy combination also gives you the option of locking your computer, logging off, shutting down, or changing your password.
Magic Text resizer
Finally my favourite, and one which never fails to impress anyone watching - resizing text in Word.
When you are laying out a flyer or a brochure, you often need to get text to just the right size to fit in with graphics or text boxes. Highlight the text, and press Control and [ or Control and ] to decrease/increase the point size one at a time. The text will magically grow or shrink as you tap the keys, and makes it dead easy to fit text into a certain space.
- CTRL-C = Copy
- CTRL-X = Cut
- CTRL-V = Paste
- CTRL-A = Highlight all (for instance a whole Word document to change a font size or style)
- CTRL-ESC = Open Start Menu, use the arrow keys to select an item
- F1 = Help
- F2 = Rename an item
- F3 = Open Find All Files dialog
- ALT-F4 = Close the current window, or quit the current program
- SHIFT-F4 = Automatically repeats the previous Find command in Word
- F5 = Refresh Screen
- ALT-F6 = Switch between multiple windows in the same program
- F10 = Activate the menu bar in a program
- SHIFT-DEL = Delete items permanently
With these speedy keyboard tips, you will soon be tapping out impressive shortcuts that help you get more done in less time.